By David St. Louis (Merlin 2) [ CC BY 2.0 ], via  Wikimedia Commons

By David St. Louis (Merlin 2) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

Breed in the boreal forests from Alaska to Newfoundland, and winter from the southern United States southward.

Length          9-12 inches
Wingspan     21-27 inches
Weight          5-9 ounces

Variable; often conifer forests with openings in north, or grasslands with groves of trees.

Mainly small birds; occasionally small mammals such as mice.

Small, dark falcon with long, pointed wings. Relatively rare wherever it occurs. Very capable flier, catching avian prey almost exclusively. Dark underwings, and lacks a bold mustache mark. Looks like a small, dark peregrine falcon.

Meet RCV's resident education Merlin - Aya!